Marathon des Sables 2024: By The Numbers

The Marathon des Sables (MdS to those in the know) is a brutal race. For the uninitiated, it’s a yearly ~260 km slog across the Sahara desert, in which temperatures can reach staggering highs of around 60 degrees C.

Combatting these conditions requires some serious preparation, and with increasing global temperatures and high profile cases of heat related illness striking the race in recent years, heat acclimation has become a non-negotiable for would-be participants. By putting the time in to pre-acclimate to the heat, the theory goes that the body is then ready to deal with the harsh environmental conditions faced during the race.

As experts in environmental training, The Altitude Centre were, as ever, well prepared to work with a number of athletes prior to the race. Let’s run the numbers…



The number of athletes we worked with in preparation for MdS. These included two of the top ten Brits including first British finisher.


Fifty Eight

The total number of hours our athletes spent in the heat chamber. Runners generally chose to complete either FIVE or TEN sessions.


Four Hundred and Six

Kilometres covered on the treadmill by our athletes (let’s not forget a bit more covered on the Wattbike!).


Fourty Five Point Four

The peak air temperature reached in our environmental chamber.


Thirty Eight Point Five

The target core temperature for athletes during heat acclimation sessions, monitored continuosly by CORE temperature sensors.



Incredible race, the experience of a lifetime for all of our participants. For many, on to the next, and on to more hours sweating it out in the chamber!